Writer: Austin Prim
Some of you may have heard of local rapper Jahn Dough, some of you may not have. I just recently found out about him. Jahn released his project “My Afro is My Halo” at the end of January. I’m not sure if we have mutual followers, but links to his video as well as tweets about the project were popping up the whole week. His name had been mentioned to and around me by a few artists/engineers in the city. He was mentioned by people whose music opinions are trustworthy, like Tony JR a local singer, and Donny Domino, Sensei of DOJO 45. So, I listened.
I’m usually skeptical of listening to local artist’s music. Some people aren’t talented. Others are, but their music isn’t as good as they say it is. I care about music and the city. I’m very opinionated, so when I listen to a new project or song by a local rapper, I’m judgmental. I listen to it from the perspective of someone outside of the city or state hearing it. I judge based on the question: Does this rep my city well? Most of the times, the answer is no. Sometimes it’s the style of the artist, other times it’s the lack of talent. Other times it’s just my preference. This is how I go into every song, video, EP or album from a DFW based artist. And my approach won’t change regardless of if I know you.
Right off the bat, my initial thought after listening through all 12 songs was, “This is actually pretty dope.” It’s not perfect, it’s not the most polished or innovative album I’ve ever heard from a Dallas artist. But it’s good. It showed me the type of headspace as an artist Jahn Dough is. This was my introduction to him. You can hear that he listens to a lot of eras of rap. I heard elements from Outkast to Kendrick. The album gives a fluent feel and vibe throughout. It starts off calmer. The production for the first half of the project is closer to an updated boom-bap, backpack rapper feeling. Tracks like “Vile” and “Party Foul” are easy ones to get behind. They both are vibe type songs. You could hear those songs played at a kickback with the lights low while everyone is sitting around drinking and having a good time.
Once you get to the middle of the project, you run into a stand out song “The Sun” featuring local R&B singer Gabrielle B. This one is for the ladies. It’s not aggressive, but it’s a straight forward in its message. The vibe this song gives off is like Common’s “The Light”. Wouldn’t be surprised if that was the intention of this song. But the next track is my favorite on the tape. “Bitter Sweet” samples “Candy Rain” by Soul 4 Real in a way that is super fun to listen to. His cadence on this track switches from previous songs. It’s more upbeat, more aggressive, more melodic. It reminds me of Big Boi back in the 90s. This, unfortunately, is one of the shorter songs on the tape but is easily one of the best tracks. The rest of the album sounds more fun and the production is more updated. It’s not trap, but it’s not the relaxing, laid back, vibe out production that the first half of the album provided. The album was balanced well, and there’s a song on here for everyone.
Overall, this was a dope introduction to an artist. Is this the best project, no. Are you going to want to listen to Jahn Dough over Drake, or Kendrick right now, probably not. But, you’re not going to turn it off. You won’t want to delete it off your computer. “My Afro is My Halo” will make you intrigued and interested in more of his music, and that’s a good album. I want to hear more of Dough. I want to see more. I think you should too. Listen to the project yourself and decide. Jahn Dough is definitely destined to be mentioned with top Dallas artists soon!